Debt Settlement Attorney in Pennsylvania
What is Debt Settlement?
Debt settlement is paying off a debt for less than the amount owed to the creditor. The creditor must agree to accept the amount you offer to pay as full payment. As an example, if you owe Visa $12,000, the company may take a settlement of $6,000 if it believes it will not get paid back. This method works best if you are able to come up with the full settlement amount immediately.
Therefore, it is best to engage in debt settlement if you have or plan to have some money set aside for settlement payments. When a creditor accepts a settlement deal, you are expected to come up with certified funds immediately.
Creditors don’t typically settle debts until they’re a few months past due. The older the debt gets, the more the creditor worries that it will not be paid back what it is owed. As a result, the creditor is sometimes willing to settle the debts for less than what is owed. That means you have to stop paying your accounts for a few months. Meanwhile, late payments are reported to the credit bureaus and your credit score will drop. Creditors may also begin calling you. The late payments will remain on your credit report for up to seven years.
Under debt settlement, your bills are reduced without the need to file bankruptcy. Debt settlement is an excellent alternative to bankruptcy if you have some money, but just not enough to entirely pay all your creditors.
Why Choose The Law Offices of David M. Offen and How Can We Help?
We are an experienced Philadelphia bankruptcy and debt settlement law firm.
Having a reputable bankruptcy attorney negotiate from strength by using the threat of filing bankruptcy even if that is not our original goal, can put you in a much stronger position to try to settle the matter. Since we also practice bankruptcy law, which is a useful tool in the negotiation process, we are able to advise our clients about their options in bankruptcy, and we can use that as leverage to try to get a better settlement when we speak to creditors.
Creditors know that they need to offer us a deal that is at least as good as what they would receive in a bankruptcy filing. If the creditor can agree to a significant reduction in the balance due, the bankruptcy filing can be avoided altogether.
Since the creditors know the fact that we can just file for bankruptcy and reduce or eliminate their debt altogether, they tend to listen more to our bankruptcy firm than to other agencies who have no bankruptcy experience.
In addition, unlike debt settlement firms, creditors realize that once our law office is involved in the case, there exists the very real possibility that the debts can be wiped out by filing for bankruptcy protection. Therefore, the creditors may be more willing to listen if they have a chance to receive some monies.
The Law Offices of David M. Offen have successfully settled hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt over the past 20 years for those individuals and families where bankruptcy is not their best option.
Know All of Your Debt Settlement Options
Although bankruptcy may be the best solution in many situations, there are other options for dealing with debt, such as debt negotiation, as mentioned above, and mortgage foreclosure defense to help protect a home. A good bankruptcy attorney will discuss all of your options with you.
Another procedure similar to debt consolidation but under the protection of the U.S. Bankruptcy court is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. You enter into a plan to repay your debts in part or in full over a three to five year period. You make one payment per month to the bankruptcy trustee who divides the monies among the creditors. While making payments, it is illegal for the creditors to sue you or pursue you.
An additional benefit of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that you pay no interest on your unsecured debt. At the conclusion of your plan, any remaining unsecured debt is discharged by the court. Our bankruptcy attorneys are here to help you resolve your debt situation.
Bankruptcy and Your Credit Score
Many people are afraid of filing bankruptcy because they believe it will hurt their credit rating. In most cases, if you have substantial debt, you already have problems with your credit score. Filing for bankruptcy can offer you the opportunity for rebuilding your credit as well as your financial future. You can contact our law office today to discuss whether bankruptcy is the right option for you.